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One picture that all my photographers from all over the state had on their Monday menu was that of goats in white, brown (with white spots), some with colourful clips or bands, along with their price range. They were ready for sacrifice on Wednesday – Eid-Ul-Azha.

While discussing the spirit of sacrifice in office, I realized that the urbane Muslim youth is slowly getting disconnected from the very ethos of the pious festival.

“I just bought a goat to sacrifice it tomorrow”, announced my young colleague. I simply asked him, “Where is the attachment factor here? You are supposed to feed, take care of the goat before sacrificing it?” He smiled and said, “ Yes, that’s the tradition.”

Times are changing across the country and communities. Just as many of us played Lakshmi aarti on our cell, YouTube for Diwali puja, Muslim professionals are moving towards easier ways — online Qurbani.

After all life is moving in the fast lane and living spaces are shrinking in urban areas. No doubt online Qurbani is coming handy.

All that they have to do is to use their plastic money to place orders and clear the bill before the due date. There are websites that not only post pictures of the animals on sale but also take care of the entire ceremony – from sacrifice of the animal to the distribution of the meat among friends and family members or if they opt to the poor and the needy.

And it is not un-Islamic. One of the websites has even listed a fatwa to remove any misgivings about the use of technology for observing pure religious ceremonies.

Onlinequrbani.com quotes Mufti Taqi Usmani on its website, “Buying and selling through Internet is not impermissible in itself.” Young Muslim professionals from various parts of the country run onlinequrbani.com from Chennai.

Maulana Khalid Rashid of Firangi Mahal here in Lucknow also says, “There is nothing un-Islmaic about this emerging practice, more prevalent in South. There is no harm. As residential spaces are shrinking, people are adopting to newer methods of halal. However, this has yet to catch up in North though Islam permits seven people to contribute for the qurbani of big animal.”

It’s something like people playing recorded mantras abroad for sat pheras in traditional Indian style. After all pandits are not easily available there.

Thankfully, it’s the technology that is keeping us connected to our traditions. Perhaps the practices have to change with times.

It’s the spirit of sacrifice/devotion that we salute and God demands.

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